Friday, February 25, 2011

Brown out next week

Don’t know who Gordon is, but this is definitely how our readers feel about me.

There will be a Brown Out next week on the blog, as I’m not going to be in town and will not have a means with which to blog.

Pray that Big makes his return…or at least goes YouTube on your asses.


College students…

Serve me my coffee, keep your political opinions to yourself.

I remember being in college.  A) I’m not that old and B) college was a memorable experience.  Now, I wasn’t a big partier, and my life’s goal wasn’t re-creating “Animal House”, but I wasn’t the depressed college kid who spent night alone staring at the wall because I’d gone from little pond to ocean of people. I was just a regular, non exceptional, one of 50,000 students at Texas.

My goal in college was basically to work my ass off to get a job that would provide the means to live my life the way I wanted it.  If I wanted to eat Velociraptor omelets sprinkled with diamonds to make my doo doo sparkle, then I’d have to work for it, simple equation.  I never really paid any attention to causes or politics, and if you’ve been to Texas, then you know that’s damn near impossible to do.

Anyway, I always made a point to read the daily newspaper and read the editorials as well as walk by the West Mall because I was guaranteed an interesting protest or awkwardly social cause.  I still make a point to read the campus newspaper online and follow along with comments, and now that I’m a ways away from college life, I’ve affirmed by simple belief.

College kids are stupid because they’ve got too much time and independence.

Think about it.  A lot of college students are in college to find out what they want to do for the rest of their lives.  It’s their first time away from home, and most of them have a certain sense of financial non-responsibility.  Either it’s parental support, scholarship or student loan combined with a part time job.  (I’m sure everyone who read this blog had to work 40 hours weeks and study 50 hours a week because they put themselves through school, and I’m just a spoiled brat who got in on scholarship, parental support and a part time job. I guess I’m spoiled then. First world problems!) 

Anyways, without any real fiscal responsibility and whirling in a general studies atmosphere with no supervision, I think college students find themselves in the enviable position to be able to glom on to current events.  So, you’ll have a group of thousands of college students protesting and trying to make arguments about how immigration reform should happen and taxes shouldn’t be raised and this state senator is doing this and this state senator is doing that.  They’ll write impassioned please for why student government matters and why if you don’t act now, the world is going to end.  They’ll think that this is there chance to recreate the 60’s where protests matters and social mores were challenged and things changed. I remember at commencement, we had the Secretary of the Treasury speak and a bunch of student tried to interrupt him by stripping their gowns and screaming “No Blood for Oil!” over and over again.

These kids pay little to no taxes and contribute nothing to society short of keeping vintage clothing stores open, and I’m supposed to give a shit what they think?  Pardon me if the voices I choose to listen to are the voices of people who are living in the real world and have real world problems.  People who support families, pay mortgages/rent and bills, pay taxes.  Sure, there are many people in college doing those things, but $10 says they’re not the ones politicking and protesting because those people have to make it to work and then make it home. 

Anyway, if you’re a college kid, spend your time enjoying college. Discover what you love to do. Get drunk on a weekday. Meet people and find new hobbies. Don’t try and act smarter than you are and beg for people to listen to you when you have nothing relevant to say. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Amazon is slowly taking over my life

Not this one…

I have an admission, and it’s simply that I’m terrified of online activity.  Call me old fashioned, but I’ve always preferred to go to a store, physically touch items, and then purchase them from a sales person. Always have. 

It’s got nothing to do with online security because there’s just as much safety in some 17 year old kid at Best Buy then there is in a 17 year old hacker being able to get into my computer/network and get my information.   You can argue the ability to get to it is easier, but in the end, if it’s going to happen to you, it’s going to happen to you, the best you can do is protect your shit.

No, the reason that I’m “against” buying things online is simply that I don’t trust the other end of the transaction.  When I go to a store, I can see the object I’m buying. I can touch it, I can turn it around, I can see what’s there and what I’m getting.  Online, you don’t know if you’re getting the product or a box with bricks.  Does this make me sound like a 60 year old man?  Well, you damn kids and your internet should know that by now. I just learned “LOL” didn’t mean “Lots Of Love”.  I never claimed to be smart, my wife married me because she can bounce a quarter off my ass.

Anyway, over the holidays this year, I took the not-so-novel approach of buying all my gifts via Amazon.  Holy shit, did you guys know this place existed?  I thought all you bought was books, but no, you can buy anything you want on there. Hell, I bought a kidney!  A REAL LIFE HUMAN FUCKING KIDNEY!  (I did not buy a kidney). Anyway, ever since getting a Kindle (that’s right, I’m a better person than you), my obsession with Amazon has grown further.  Now, I don’t feel like going anywhere (more than I used to…it ain’t called the Fortress of Solitude for nothing) because I can just get it on Amazon and have it shipped in 2 days time.  My shoulder visibly slump when I realize I need something now because it requires me to have human interaction.

How fucking sad is that?  I’m an anti-social person as it is, and now I don’t even want to go to the store to buy stuff.  Anyway, my point is that the internet has allow shut-ins like me to completely disconnect from the real world and never leave the comfort of their own homes.  I’m not quite sure this is a good thing.  Now, for my next discovery, did you guys know that you can buy music on the internet too?  There’s this cool thing called iTunes…

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

So, Melo is a Knick…superteam numero dos?

Image courtesy of Deadspin….and satan

It happened last night…I guess technically it’s supposed to be official today.  In a 15 player, 4 draft pick, $6 MM swap across New York, Minnesota and Denver, Carmelo Anthony is headed to the Big Apple to team up with Amare Stoudemire.   This whole thing stunk of “the Decision” and this shift of players turning into GM’s and controlling free agency is becoming a real pain in the ass.

“But, team’s with two superstars is completely normal”

That’s a statement I completely agree with.  I think it’s more than reasonable and possible to put a team together that pairs up a “Batman & Robin” with a Commissioner Gordon on the side with the rest of the Gotham City police force.  (For my example, let’s stick to the classics – no need for Barbara Gordon or the Birds of Prey, shall we?)   In the “modern” era of basketball you had a main superstar, a complimentary star in the second tier, a third star in the second tier and role players.   Even the “Super Teams” might have had a bunch of big names, but those were fading, aging stars, never big time guys in their primes.

This started going South with the Celtics.

Not Parrish, McHale and Bird.  I mean the current Celts, Garnett, Pierce and Allen.  Remember, the Celtics were a lottery team putting their hopes on Al Jefferson and Paul Pierce?  Then in one hour at the draft, the Celtics turned into Pierce, Allen, Garnett and Rondo.  Turned around and won a title.  Then Kobe got mad.  Said trade me or surround me. Kupchak and Wallace made the deal – the Lakers turned into Kobe, Gasol and Ariza – the next year turning Ariza into Artest.

I think those still followed suit with superstar, second tier, third tier, role players.  It dipped its toe into “hey, wait, that’s a shit ton of superstars”, but it wasn’t anything anyone really saw as players organizing their own teams.  It was the GM’s and coaches who were stockpiling, and that’s their job.

Then came “The Decision”.  I’m not going to rehash this, but when James, Bosh and Wade organized themselves to convene in Miami and make it happen, you knew the game had changed. 

So, how does this apply to Carmelo Anthony?  He takes the entire first half of the season, holding Denver hostage, wanting money AND demanding that he get traded to New York.  New Jersey was next door, and they’re moving to Brooklyn. They had the best package available for Denver, but, no, Melo would only go if it was the Knicks.  So, you’ve got 2 parts: Melo and Amare.  Who’s the third?  Simple – look to New Orleans.  A franchise that’s out of money and being run by the league that’s threatening to eliminate them.  That’s going to setup a dispersion draft.  Now, hark back to Carmelo Anthony’s wedding this summer and Chris Paul saying that he, Melo and Amare should play together and follow suit of Miami.

Whether we like it or not, CP3 is going to join those guys in New York, and we’ll have player-controlled franchises in NY and Miami. It’s only matter of time before Chicago follows suit.  When the league “runs out” of superstars, will we see a shift back to team ball and the Pistons/Spurs teams of the early 00’s?   Time will tell.

Monday, February 21, 2011

So there I was…me and the mountain

Went on a big trip to Lake Tahoe this weekend with 9 other friends.  There wasn’t any big “thing” that we were celebrating, just all 10 of us have our own lives and we don’t get to spend time together as “just guys”, so it was a trip to re-wind the clock about 7-10 years. 

I have two main observations : 1) I take back ever defending AT&T because I totally understand why anyone West of the Rockies hates the services. 2) Talk big all you want to, but we aren’t in college anymore.

So, quick note on AT&T.  How about throwing up another tower or 10 on the West Coast?  I couldn’t make calls or send text messages the entire weekend. It wasn’t just my phone because the other guys that have AT&T had the same issues.   In fact, I did a bit of a ping test when I had service.  You know what tower my cell phone was using for service?  A tower in Seattle, WA.  I was in Lake Tahoe, 100 miles from Sacramento, 45 miles from Reno, but the service tower was IN SEATTLE.  That’s bad planning.

Now, the main point, we’re not young guys anymore.  I knew that, but it takes a weekend like this for me to be reminded.  We all had a lot of fun this weekend, so it isn’t a complaint at all. It was great being with the guys again and cramming 10 of us in a hotel room literally having fart competitions and making a hotel run out of towels.  It was a bit sad when I realized that everyone was down and out by midnight.  You know what, “sad” is totally the wrong word.  It’s eye opening. 

Gone are the days where we could go to the bars till 2 am, come home and after-party till 4 or 5.  Gone are the days where you talk about all your big plans.  Gone are the days where you wonder if you’ll meet your future wife or the next morning’s mistake that night. 

Now, I’m not saying that I miss those things, but the last time the 10 of us were together like this, no one was married, no one had kids, everyone was in school and weighed about 25 pounds less.  When you all get together again, it’s a little funny that a few of us that didn’t ski still spent the day drinking, but instead of “partying”, we were talking about how much fun it’ll be to take our wives up here, 1 guy was most concerned about finding the right gift for his daughter, and 1 guy kept saying that he can’t wait to bring his stepson up here because it would crack him up to see his stepson lose his shit when he saw the snow.  See?  Not bad, just different.   Keep in mind, we had these conversations at the same time one guy stole another guy’s camera and took close up pictures of his ball bag…so, maybe the more things change, the more they stay the same.

When we re-joined as a group, it was to eat dinner. Sure, the plan was to go to the bar and drink, but inevitably, you’d start seeing yawns, which led to more yawns, which led to people dropping off, and then, by midnight, everyone was back in the room and either already asleep or sitting on the balcony.  

I’m not saying that I miss partying, or that I wish we could turn the clock back.  What I am saying is that it doesn’t dawn on you how much time passes and how much you have grown as a person in your own life until you put yourself back in a position that you used to be.  It isn’t a bad thing to grow up, it is a bad thing to wish you were still young, or act like you’re still young.  If you spend the entire time “wishing” you were still a kid, or acting like you are still a 22 year old, then I think it says something about how you aren’t happy with how things are today.  

This weekend was awesome. I say that with no sarcasm or exception. It was fun, and it was a blast to hang out with the guys again.  The fact that I was happiest when I walked into my house and saw my wife and dog tells me that I’ve got the life I dreamt about as a kid.  

See? I told you asses that the “I’m happy” posts aren’t funny and make me sound like a haughty jackass.  Oh, and snow douches are lake douches on ice.